Manila Standard : Palace urged to provide security for Marcos Jr.

17 April 2022

By Manila Standard

With the May 9 elections only three weeks away, Malacañang should consider offering a Presidential Security Group (PSG) team to former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., who is widely favored by voters to become the country’s next chief executive, Rep. Michael “Mike” Defensor (Anakalusugan) said on Sunday.

“Of all the major presidential candidates, only Bongbong does not have any personal protection extended by the government because he is not a current officeholder,” Defensor, who is Marcos Jr.’s anointed candidate for Quezon City mayor, said in a statement on Sunday.

“The problem with our setup here is that if you are not an incumbent official and you run for president or vice president, you have no government protection at all, unlike in the United States,” Defensor said.

“In America, all presidential and vice-presidential candidates –whether they are current officeholders or not – are automatically safeguarded by the U.S. Secret Service, the same agency defending their sitting president against potential harm or attack,” Defensor said.

Although Marcos Jr. previously served as a senator for six years and as Ilocos Norte governor for nine years, he is not a current officeholder.

“We are not worried about presidential candidate Leni Robredo’s personal safety because she already enjoys official protection as the sitting vice president,” Defensor said.

“We are also not worried about presidential candidates Manny Pacquiao and Panfilo Lacson Sr. who are incumbent senators and have bodyguards paid for by the Senate,” Defensor said.

Vice presidential candidate Vicente Sotto III, the current Senate President, likewise enjoys bodyguards paid for by the Senate.

Defensor and his running mate Winnie Castelo meanwhile vowed to work for the landslide victory of UniTeam tandem of Marcos Jr. and Duterte.

Defensor promised his constituents that he and Castelo would work on solving the perennial housing problem in the city.

“There are at least 300,000 families who are still homeless in Quezon City. Here in the national government center in Batasan, I, together with Councilor Winnie Castelo, have obtained a proclamation giving 70,000 families the right to buy the government land they occupy,” he said.

He said the process of acquiring and distributing the land, which is being undertaken by the National Housing Authority should be transferred to the city government so it could be expedited.

Defensor also promised free education for college students and senior citizen pension for those not covered by the national government’s subsidy program. With Maricel V. Cruz